Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Other Secret Invasion: Millennium #6

This week a new issue of Secret Invasion, the single greatest line-wide superhero crossover about aliens secretly infiltrating earth from a major publisher this millennium, was released. Which means it's time once again to examine an issue of Millennium, the single greatest line-wide superhero crossover about aliens secretly infiltrating earth from a major publisher last millennium.

The action opens in deep space, where Superman leads a very determined team of heroes. As you can see, this installment is entitled “Out.” In the next 22 pages, one of these heroes will indeed come out. I’m assuming it’s Hal Jordan. But let’s find out together, shall we?

So let’s see, it says here that the “hidden home world of the Manhunters has burst like a ripe melon in the violence of its war with the spaceborne heroes of the earth--”

What? We missed the whole thing? Last issue, these guys were setting out to find the Manhunter homeworld, and this issue we learn they’ve already located, fought and violently destroyed it? In a tie-in? Man, what a rip-off.

Note that the ultimate Manhunter, the mammoth Highmaster (not to be confused with the mammoth Master Mold) managed to escape Superman and company’s act of android genocide.

They’re in hot pursuit of this giant, yellow Manhunter, who suddenly blasts them and turns to face them shouting about how they had cost him “the fruit of three billion years” and that no man escapes the manhunters. (Hmm, if one were to devise a Millennium drinking game, in which you had to take a shot every time someone said “no man escapes the manhunters” in this thing, I wonder if one would merely be really drunk right now, or dead of alcohol poisining?)

The heroes brace themselves for the onslaught:
Man, I love that crazy googly-eyed zombie Lantern.

Using his “anti-green light,” the Highmaster traps everyone in space debris save Superman and the Martian Manhunter.

Superman arrogantly assesses the situation, while the Highmaster rolls out his forearm cannons
and blasts them so hard he disintegrates J’onn’s harness right off (Man up, Martian Manhunter!)

The Highmaster then seems to shrink out of existence, while ranting about how the Guardians will get theirs yet. Dr. Fate tries to pursue using “The Call of Vayu,” but it’s the wrong spell, and the heroes are thrown into some infernal locale where they all start dying. Dr. Fate transfers their life energies into Superman and Hal, who are the last two flying. They rush off to find the Guardians, probably in a tie-in.

Back on earth, the chosen are all passed out in the grass in their transcendental states, while the immortals look on. Herupa Hando Ho explains that they are experiencing visions of the unity permeating the universe and their united places in it.”

Joe Staton and Ian Gibson draw those visions out for us:

Okay, Gregorio dreams of being a…dendrite of some sort? Celia Windward sees an abstract space monster? Janwillem Kroef pictures himself as a fat Hitler? Takeo Yakata is a samurai business man? Floronic Man imagines just cold dancing in the grass, Tom Kalamaku dreams of being a Green Lantern and punching a fat alien tapir man in the ass during the oath recitation ceremony, Xiang Po dreams of a wicked skateboard design, and Betty Clawman dreams of squatting in the desert, just like she was doing when the Immortals first encountered her.

Outside of their skulls, Wonder Woman tries to strike up a conversation with Batman, and he bites her head off:
They’re still a long way away from being the BFFs they’ll become in JLoA about 20 years later. Of course, this is set in the post-Crisis continuity, in which Wonder Woman was still a recent arrival to America, and had just met Batman and the other heroes. I suppose this scene didn't even happen after Infinite Crisis's de-reboot of Wonder Woman continuity. So just ignore it.

Guy Gardner, still suffering from the bonk on the head that turned him into an incredibly nice, deferential guy, rings himself and Batman over to Booster Gold International, where Booster is waiting for them.

Booster downs Batman with a laser blast, punches Guy down a flight of stairs and then does this:
Wow. Booster Gold took out Guy Gardner and Batman! At the same time!

When the Chosen start to awaken, Tom finds his family anxiously waiting for him, and not too happy about his going all cosmic on them:
I like the look on his son’s face, when he realizes his dad must be on drugs. Just say no, dad!

Of course, as we've seen in previous issues, Nancy Reagan, proponent of the Just Say No campaign, is herself an evil Manhunter android, so perhaps just saying no to drugs is one of the Manhunters' schemes within schemes? Perhaps people of the '80s should have just said yes more often...?

Janwillem’s finally had enough of this “hippy hoorah,” particularly when he realizes that his consciousness is finally being unified with those of a bunch of filthy minorities.

He demands the Immortals stop or he’ll leave, to which Nadia responds, “Farewell!”

On the way out, Janwillem takes a moment to hurl a racial epithet at a big guy with a super wishing ring on his hand.
John Stewart responds by...
decking him with his power ring? Jeez John; can’t you use your own fist? You had to generate a giant ring construct fist to deck the fat old guy?

Finally, Floronic Man sneaks off to meet a Manhuner agent, as he was supposed to betray the Chosen to the Manhunters. Instead he betrays the Manhunters, opting to throw in fully with the Chosen and the Immortals. Rather than a double-agent, he's become a triple-agent. I think that's how that works.

As Floronic Man turns the captured Manhunter agent over to Batman and company for interrogation, Blue Beetle and Mister Miracle announce that they’ve figured out that the Manhunters must have a secret base at the center of the earth.

The heroes decide to strike there…next issue!

The Other Secret Invasion: Millennium #1
The Other Secret Invasion: Millennium #2
The Other Secret Invasion: Millennium #3
The Other Secret Invasion: Millennium #4
The Other Secret Invasion: Millennium #5


SallyP said...

This is magnificently, HORRIBLY bad...and yet, I am finding that I'm enjoying it in a completely weird sort of way.

Booster by the way, is always being criminally underestimated by people, which actually turns out to be a pretty good strategy when you think about it. And Batman always treated Guy just as nastily when he was sweet as when he was obnoxious.

But I STILL like this better than the Skrulls.

Woody! said...

I remember the Hal and Supes adventure was handled by John Byrne in one of his tie-ins. I loved this when I was buying tons of books. Looking back at it as a single title, leaving main points to be handled in the tie-ins pretty much sucks.

tomorrowboy 2.5 said...

You know, one thing you can say in defense of crossovers like this (and Invasion) back in the day is that they only lasted a few months. I mean, an 8 issue weekly series or three giant monthly issues seems like a much better way to do a big event than stretching it over 8 months (!) or however long Final Crisis is going to last (at least 9 months for 7 issues).